Final Project: Personal Code of Ethics Juvenile Probation Officers and Parole Agents require much patience as well as the ability to follow certain orderly conduct. Officers are given a group of individuals to monitor on a daily basis that are also known as caseloads. Each caseload is different for every officer. The juvenile(s) involved have unique behavioral patterns and backgrounds that construct the outcome of how each case may proceed. Therefore, it is required that all officers follow the code of ethics as a guide to an easier handling of your caseload as well as the everyday production of your job requirements.
I am currently an employee of the City of Philadelphia courts as a Court Representative. I am in the courtroom daily and I witness many court hearings that come before the judge. As an employee of the court, I am required to follow rules of conduct and ethical codes. Because each case is sensitive, we are required to be discreet with all information that is discussed in the courtroom. We are not to disclose any information in regards to the caseload or the members of a case to anyone that is not authorized. Those that may be authorized are attorneys and case managers or an actual party of the case.
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An act such as this would be an invasion of personal privacy and I would not be operating in proper conduct as an employee. In addition to the ethical code that is documented in our employee handbooks for us to follow, I have gathered my own personal codes to abide as well. I also used common sense and collaborated my own way in operating the best way possible within my position. The ethical codes that were addressed for Probation Officers and Parole Agents were generated for individuals to follow based on one of two ethical systems. These systems are the deontological and teleological.
A deontological ethical system is one that is concerned solely with the inherent nature of the act being judged (Pollock, 2004). Teleological system judges the consequences of an act (Pollock, 2004). Either way the code is followed, the outcome of an individual’s action should be a positive one. Using the verbiage from the Federal Probation Officer’s Code of Ethics (cited from: http://www. intech. mnsu. edu/davisj/fpoa_ethics. htm), we find that: ??Federal Probation Officers Association Code of Ethics ??? As a Federal Probation Officer, I am dedicated to rendering rofessional service to the courts, the parole authorities, and the community at large in effecting the social adjustment of the offender. ??? I will conduct my personal life with decorum, will neither accept nor grant favors in connection with my office, and will put loyalty to moral principles above personal consideration. ??? I will uphold the law with dignity and with complete awareness of the prestige and stature of the judicial system of which I am a part. I will be ever cognizant of my responsibility to the community which I serve. I will strive to be objective in the performance of my duties; respect the inalienable rights of all persons; appreciate the inherent worth of the individual; and uphold inviolate those confidences which can be reposed in me. ??? I will cooperate with my fellow workers and related agencies and will continually attempt to improve my professional standards through seeking knowledge and understanding. ??? I recognize my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust to be held as long as I am true to the ethics of the Federal Probation Service.
I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession. Utilizing a personal code of ethics and is what drives daily decisions and actions. In the workplace, I believe in addressing every situation with honesty and integrity – if you do the right thing, the rest will work itself out. I believe in open reporting on all situations as well as full disclosure of the issues that arise in the office or out on the field. If the probation officer is aware of the nature of the position, they will be better prepared to make difficult decisions if the need arises.
I believe the expectations of the workforce should be fair and well understood. Everyone has a personal and professional life, and I try to acknowledge both. If you work to meet the needs of your staff and the individuals of your caseload everyone will be happy in the workplace and loyal to the position. For example, if a young person is placed on probation, the Court requires that I monitor their terms to ensure compliance. I recommend to the Court what those terms should be in my report, and I act as both a counselor and monitor for those terms.
I am expected to be in court each time a client is before the Judge, and to act in an official capacity to inform the Court when asked. I am also required to monitor drug testing and screening, to do home visits unannounced to search for illegal items. I am also required to be familiar with the other social and psychological services that might be required to help a young person. Primarily, the goal is to handle the issue now, before the young person becomes either a habitual criminal or falls into a life of crime – so education and prevention is important.
I can be an advocate or a stern parental figure with clients – if the client is honest and adheres to the plan, and seems genuine in wanting to rehabilitate and become a productive member of society, I am an advocate. If, however, a client lies, remains on illegal substances, or violates the terms of his/her probation, then it is my moral responsibility to inform the Court of such and to recommend appropriate action. A day in the field as a probation or parole officer can be quite a busy one. You can get a few ideas as well as recommended actions to be taken (see: http://www. princetonreview. com/Careers. aspx? id=175&page=1&uidbadge=%07). Both the personal and professional Code of Ethics are, as we have noted, a guide to behavior, decisions, and the ability to perform one’s job in the most positive manner. The use of these codes, I believe, will help make it easier to act and react within given situations within the criminal justice system. With each incident or occurrence, one needs to ask how the particular event fits in with the guidelines in the code and then act or react accordingly (2004). In generating my personal code of ethics, I have gathered written codes and addressed my personal ethic in comparison using the Teleological system.
For starters, one of the most important codes in this position requires us to respect and protect the civil and legal rights of all individuals. When I analyze this code, I put myself in the seat of an individual that is either a party of my caseload or the parent of the juvenile. I would not, in either position, want my civil rights violated nor would I want to be disrespected in any manner. Therefore, this will make me push harder towards playing a valuable part in my position as a Juvenile Probation or Parole officer. My personal Code of Ethics would apply to my job as a probation or parole officer and my professional life.
Personal Code of Ethics ??? To be honest- the more honest you are, the trustworthier you become. ??? Have integrity- the better of a person you are, the better an image you present. ??? Be responsible- you must be responsible in life so that others can rely on you. ??? Tell the truth- the value of truth is immeasurable, because without it, the world would just be filled with lies. ??? Give credit where credit is due- without crediting people for their ideas/works, it is considered stealing and we are cheating them of their hard work. ??? Be courteous- every act of kindness makes a difference in the life of someone. Have respect- one of the most important things is to treat other as you wish to be treated. ??? Trust- trust is the building block of relationships we create in our lives. ??? Be harmonious- to live together and get along with everyone is a “delicacy” that we all long for. ??? Don’t change who you are to please others- it’s not worth becoming a completely different person simply to make other people happy because by doing so, you may be making yourself unhappy. I believe it fits in very well with the professional codes discussed.
Honesty and integrity are implicit in all codes, respect and trust, and compromise and harmony in relationships. While my own code enhances my idea to be myself, but ethical, and is somewhat outside the realm of the professional codes, it does have a similar bent in that both professional codes seek to utilize one’s own behavior as a guide to others and to exemplify professional behavior. In fact, one of my personal motivations regarding a chosen career is that the standards set fit well within my own personal view of the world, and my desire to be an example to others and to aid society in any way possible.
I established this Code of Ethics based on information gather in my field, in reviewing literature on Criminal Justice, and applying what moral values I have been taught and exist within my community and desired profession. In conclusion, having employed in the position as a probation officer, it can be a difficult job to maintain however, it will make everyone’s job in the Criminal Justice field a much more pleasant one if you abide by these codes in particular at all times: ??? Personal: To act with everyone in an honest, fair and trustworthy manner.
To maintain and achieve personal integrity and truthfulness in all aspects of my life. ??? Professional: To respect others’ privacy, confidentiality and authority. To strive for a professional environment and achieve timely and accurate productivity At the end of the day you can breathe easier knowing that you did the best in making decisions for your case, clients and staff as an officer in the Criminal Jusice field. References Pollock, J. M. (2004).
Ethics in crime and justice: Dilemmas and decisions (4th ed. ). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth Dalton, Aaron (2004, January 5). American physical therapy association. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Applying Ethics to Real World Situations Web site: http://www. apta. org/AM/Template. cfm? Section=Home&CONTENTID=18524&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay. cfm (2008). Corrections officer. Retrieved May 6, 2009, from The Princeton Review Web site: http://’www. princetonreview. com/Careers. aspx? cid=175=1=%07